California’s Poet Laureate to Read, Answer Questions at OSU


CORVALLIS, Ore. – California’s poet laureate Carol Muske-Dukes will visit the Oregon State University campus on Friday, Feb. 20, to read from her works. The reading, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will be held in the Valley Library main floor rotunda, 201 S.W. Waldo Place, Corvallis, and is free and open to the public.

A question and answer book signing will follow.

Muske-Dukes in the author of seven collections of poetry, including “Applause,” “Red Trousseau,” and “An Octave above Thunder: New and Selected Poems.” Critics have praised Muske-Dukes’s poetry, lauding its “insight, emotional accuracy, and terrifying sureness of moral discernment.”

“Sparrow,” her seventh collection, was a National Book Award finalist, and has prompted comparisons with the 20th century’s most enduring poetic voices. Harold Bloom said “Sparrow” is “worthy of the tradition that includes Elizabeth Bishop, May Swenson and Amy Clampitt. It has their vibrant intensity, authentic insight and uncanny power of describing what is at the border between the visual and the visionary.”

In addition to writing poetry, Muske-Dukes has found acclaim as a novelist; her most recent of four novels, “Channeling Mark Twain,” was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. She has received many awards and honors, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and several Pushcart Prizes. Muske-Dukes is the founder and director of the doctoral program in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California.

In the fall 2008, Muske-Dukes was appointed California’s poet laureate, with a mission to educate Californians about their rich literary heritage, and to bring poetry into the lives of students who would not ordinarily have the opportunity to be exposed to it.

Muske-Dukes’s visit to Corvallis is sponsored by the OSU Visiting Writers Series, and supported by the Valley Library, the Office of the Provost, and the OSU Department of English.